Cape Canaveral Hospital evacuates patients ahead of Irma

By Greg Pallone , Reporter
Last Updated: Friday, September 08, 2017, 4:41 PM EDT

In Brevard County, Cocoa Beach's Cape Canaveral Hospital evacuated patients Friday ahead of Hurricane Irma. Even the newborns.

  • Cape Canaveral Hospital evacuates patients
  • Seventh time the hospital has evacuated due to storm
  • Limited crew will stay to handle emergencies

One-day-old Grayson has a dubious distinction -- he was born a day before a Hurricane Irma evacuation of Cape Canaveral Hospital.

"We don't really know where it's going to turn," said Jessica Smith, Grayson's mother. "So we decided to come to the hospital and do what we need to do."

Turns out, the new mother, along with dozens of other patients were told they must evacuate.

So, instead of staying three days after giving birth, Smith, husband Nicholas and their new bundle of joy are heading home to prepare for the storm with family.

"We all get to go home and not be transferred anywhere," said Nicholas Smith.

Friday, more than 40 patients were taken to Health First's three other Brevard hospitals.

This is the seventh time CCH has been evacuated for a storm since opening in 1962.

The most recent time was during Hurricane Matthew last fall.

Teams are securing the facility and parking garage area to protect those places.

The hospital sustained damage in Matthew last year, and repairs aren't due to be complete for another month.

Cape Canaveral Hospital is surrounded by water on three sides, located on the SR-520 Causeway between Cocoa Beach and Merritt Island, where mandatory evacuations are in place.

A limited crew will stay to weather the storm and take care of any emergencies that may come up.

The hospital closed mid-afternoon Friday.

There was no word on when the hospital will reopen and take patients again -- but by comparison it was shutdown for a week after Matthew last fall.

In the meantime with Irma coming, there still won't be a baby name change for the Smith family.

"Irmo was a thought, but Irma, no, definitely," said Jessica Smith, with a smile.